“[You, Esau] will live by your sword and will serve your brother [Israel]. Yet, when you will revolt, you will throw off his yoke from your neck” Genesis 27:40.

Several Palestinian officials recently voiced support for proclaiming statehood unilaterally. In such a scenario, the UN would draw Palestine’s borders. Since Muslims enjoy an automatic majority in the UN’s General Assembly, the Palestinians presumably can get a state approved in the pre-1967 borders.

The 1967 borders are the 1948 armistice line, when Israel stopped fighting, exhausted after repelling six Arab armies. It was never legally sanctioned, and itself violates the 1947 resolution which established a Palestinian state and a Jewish-Palestinian state side by side. In that sense, the post-1967 border is no more or less legal than the 1948 border. The 1947 border would be legal, but unrealistic, as it divides Israel into three cantons. Honestly, though, the current situation is no better than in 1947: densely settled by Arabs, the Galilee, Negev, and Lod triangle are Israeli territories only nominally. In practice, Jewish Israel is not very different from the 1947 partition plan, and Jews might in fact benefit by returning to the 1947 borders, which would leave a lot of Israeli Arabs in a Palestinian state.

The UN’s decisions are mere recommendations, flouted by most countries. Even so, other civilized countries would not enjoy the setting of such a precedent: Judea and Samaria might be followed by the Falkland Islands or American Samoa. Likely, the resolution will call on Israel and Palestine to negotiate their final border based on pre-1967 lines, rather than approve them automatically.

Israel has no practical reason to refuse the Palestinians statehood. If we were going to expel all Israeli Arabs and annex Judea and Samaria, then very well, we cannot allow a Palestinian state there. But since such a decision is not forthcoming, there is no reason whatsoever to cling to the West Bank. If Israel gets a decent leader one day, one willing to annex Judea and Samaria, then Palestinian statehood won’t stop us. Cleansing out an ethnic group and dismantling its state are, technically, crimes of a similar order. Moreover, by the time such a leader arises, the Palestinian majority in Jordan will have removed the monarchy and made that country into a Palestinian state. Thus, far from dismantling Palestinian statehood, annexation of the West Bank will be a mere border dispute with the East Bank’s Palestine.

Nor do we want to rule over the Palestinian villages around the capital, which the megalomaniac municipality declared to be “Greater Jerusalem.” What Jew in his right mind considers Shuafat refugee camp a part of Jerusalem? Nor do we need the Arab quarters of the city. Again and again, if a decision is made to annex and expel, that’s great; but the current arrangement is stupid and cowardly. The places where Israeli police can only enter in armored vehicles are not under our sovereignty. By this definition Lebanon must also be under sovereignty because our armed forces are active there. Sovereignty implies a very different degree of integration and control. When students in East Jerusalem take exams, their papers are checked by the PLO Ministry of Education; does that look like Israeli sovereignty? Jewish sovereignty means that there is no hostile population.

The security issues of a Palestinian state are irrelevant. Gaza is independent, but Israel was able to arrange a reliable ceasefire, which would be only stronger if we had stopped the senseless blockade. It immediately became evident that Hamas wouldn’t return Shalit because of the blockade, which only serves Fatah by punishing Hamas’ electorate. The West Bank Palestinians—a relatively affluent, functional society—are drastically different from the Gazans, who are nothing more than refugee camp lumpens. The West Bankers wouldn’t subject themselves to a war like the one Israel unleashed on Gaza last year. Syrian rockets are a problem, but the Palestinians are not. The concerns about West Bankers shooting down Israeli planes with Stinger missiles and producing explosives in the safety of their own state are nonsense: nothing precludes them from doing so now.

Don’t take me wrong: a Palestinian state in the West Bank will be hostile to Israel, a base for Iranians and terrorists, a constant trouble—but that is about what we have now. If anything, it is somewhat easier to retaliate against a sovereign state than against an allegedly occupied population. Again, accepting a Palestinian state is far from the best option. At the very least, Israel can annex half of Judea and Samaria which are virtually empty of inhabitants. But we will not make the decision to annex, then why bother holding them?

Unilateral Palestinian statehood brings up the question of Jerusalem’s Old City, the Temple Mount, and the settlement blocs, which Israel would find politically hard to evacuate. Regrettably, the government would only welcome such a solution. Following the UN’s resolution, Israel will be hard pressed to remove her army from the West Bank and leave the settlements and roads defenseless. As a plausible solution, Israel could retain some military presence in the settlements but not on the roads. Unable to travel daily to work in their shops or go to hospitals, the settlers would start abandoning their villages voluntarily.

As it seems today, Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank would bring about Fatah government’s collapse under Hamas’ onslaught. If Fatah had wanted statehood, it could have proclaimed it any time, as indeed it attempted to do in Tunisia. The transition to statehood would be easy: Palestine already issues its own passports and has visa-free travel arrangements with dozens of countries; it has significant security forces, ministries, and recognized ambassadors. Many countries would recognize Palestinian independence immediately. The fact that despite this favorable situation Fatah refrains from declaring independence suggests that it might be bluffing to pressure Israel into negotiations.